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Ban Lan Kha community forest joins hand with RATCH to organize “Building 15 Check dams for Celebrating RATCH’s 15thAnniversary” project to cope with drought and protect the forest ecology

Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Public Company Limited (RATCH) joined hands with   Ban Lan Kha community forest, Amphoe Pak Tor, Ratchaburi province, to build check dams in order to protect forest’s biodiversity amid intensified drought in this year. This project was also created to celebrate the auspicious occasion of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn's  60th Birthday Anniversary.

Mrs. Boontiva Dansamasatid, Executive Vice President of RATCH, revealed that El Nino phenomenon resulted in drought in many areas nationwide including Ratchaburi as seen through arid forest as well as shortage of food and water source that caused wildlife intrusions into agricultural areas. Therefore, the company and Ban Lan Kha community forest, Ratchaburi worked together to build check dams where natural rainfall can be stored under “Building 15 Check Dams to Celebrate RATCH’s 15thAnniversary” project.

Starting from May 26 to June 20, 2015, this project consists of 15 check dams that were built at the community forest’s 200-meter water way. The types of dam can be divided by construction methods: 11 applied dams made from cement; two bamboo dams made from bamboo, with bags of soil and rock that were put in the middle of bamboo wall; and two rock dams made from rock and wood (suitable for areas covering a large amount of rock). With these 15 check dams, villagers can store rainfall in the forest, thus keeping the abundance of forest’s ecology and biodiversity which are sources of food and water for supporting the community. This forest is also the habitat of wildlife, the natural source of air purifier and carbon sink.       

Mr. Dang Mala, the leader of Ban Lan Kha community forest, told that abundance of this community forest played vital role to support the local people’s way of living for ages. As there were a lot of bamboos in the forest, people made bamboo basket for increasing income. In addition, Ban Lan Kha was famous for “egg incubation tools made from bamboo.” Ban Lan Kha people joined hands to protect, prevent, monitor and restore the forest, thus preserving forest abundance amid severe drought situation in this year. In addition, RATCH also gave financials support for establishment of Ban Lan Kha community forest, with the policy to continuously support the community forest. As a result, “Building 15 Check Dams to Celebrate RATCH’ s 15thAnniversary” project was organized together. Aside from providing other supports, RATCH encourages employees to join this project.

The 2,877-rai Ban Lan Kha community forest is located in the national reserved forest, the forest on the left of Pha She river basin and Phu Yang Phu Sam Son forest, Tambon Yang Hak, Amphoe Pak Chong, Ratchaburi. This mixed deciduous forest covers high mountain areas. Local people always help protect and maintain the forest area connecting to community’s agricultural areas, thus receiving benefit from forest’s products, such as food, herb and water source for supporting their farming, utilization and consumption. Ban Lan Kha community forest is one of 27 forests that the company and the Royal Forest Department join hands to select and establish to be the community forest in 2012 under the project of “Activity to Strengthen Community Forests in Ratchaburi” and this community forest was selected to be the best provincial community forest under 2013 “Love the Forest and Community” project as well as 1 of 60 community forests to participate in the Plant Genetic Conservation in 60 Community Forests project.

“The company believes that all 15 check dams that we have built together will help preserve the water source for the forest as well as effectively coping with drought as per our intention focusing on forest conservation throughout our 15-year operation. This project is also created to celebrate the auspicious occasion of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn's 60th Birthday Anniversary in order to express our gratitude to HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhon for her contribution towards upgrading life quality of all Thai people.” Mrs. Boontiva added.

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